Corylea

Kirk's Reputation vs. Reality

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Corylea   

Kirk has a reputation as a "ladies' man," and I've seen people say things even wilder than that.  I've seen people say that he's a sex maniac, that he "can't keep it in his pants," that he puts seducing the babe of the week ahead of his duty, and all sorts of other guff. :rolleyes: The reality is VERY different.

Kirk does appreciate women, but most of Kirk's flirtations are intended to accomplish a mission-related goal, such as to distract the woman, to secure her help, to gain more information about the situation, to stall for time, and so on. For example, he kisses Andrea in "What Are Little Girls Made Of" to try to confuse her and to gain her loyalty. He flirts with Miri in the episode of the same name in order to soothe her fears and to get her on their side. He kisses Sylvia in "Catspaw" to try to get information out of her. He kisses Marlena in "Mirror, Mirror" partly to maintain his cover and partly to gain her as an ally. Kelinda in "By Any Other Name," Shahana in "Gamesters of Triskelion" ... the list of women Kirk flirts with in order to further non-sexual ends goes on and on.

It's clear that Kirk's sexuality is a weapon as potent as his phaser. :P  But using his charisma for instrumental purposes is very different from being totally driven by his sexuality.  Kirk usually turns to his charisma when his other weapons have been destroyed or confiscated, and if a woman did that, we'd feel sorry for her, that she'd had to cozy up to some man she didn't especially want in order to save the day.

Much of the time, Kirk doesn't even have a choice. Sylvia didn't him much choice. Deela in "Wink of an Eye" gave him NO choice, and Helen Noel was forced on him by Dr. Adams in "Dagger of the Mind." Nona used a drug to seduce Kirk against his will in "A Private Little War," and Elaan used her magic tears to seduce him against his will in "Elaan of Troyius."  Sargon and Thalassa use the bodies of Kirk and Ann Mulhall to make out in "Return to Tomorrow," but Kirk isn't kissing anybody.

The number of women Kirk kisses both willingly AND for non-mission-related goals is actually very small: 

In Season 1, there's Areel Shaw in "Court Martial," Ruth in "Shore Leave," and Edith Keeler in "The City on the Edge of Forever."  (I'm excluding Janice Rand in "Enemy Within" because that was Evil Kirk, and Kirk makes it clear in both "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "The Naked Time" that the whole Kirk can't or won't get involved with his yeoman.)   Andrea, Helen Noel, Miri, and Lenore Karidian were all mission-related.

In Season 2, there are NO women that Kirk kisses willingly for non-mission-related ends.  Sylvia, Marlena, Shahana, and Kelinda are ALL mission-related, and Nona gave him a date-rape drug to make him kiss her against his will.  (Janet Wallace pursues Kirk in "The Deadly Years," but he fends her off.)

In Season 3, there's Miramanee in "The Paradise Syndrome" (though since Kirk had amnesia then, it's not clear how much this should count), and there's Rayna in "Requiem for Methuselah."  He does try to make time with Miranda Jones in "Is There in Truth No Beauty," but she wasn't having any. :laugh:  Elaan, Deela, Marta, and Odona were all mission-related, and Vanna and Janice Lester were attackers.

So that's ... five women in three years — one of which was an amusement-park android and one of which Kirk got involved with when he'd lost his memory, so it's not clear that either of them should count — which I think isn't actually all that much for a thirty-four-year-old man.  But then, starship captains are very busy folks. ;)

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Someone made a very detailed table about this a little while ago that shows indeed that Kirk isn't as "active" as most fans seem to think that he is. It's one of those myths that just won't die, mostly because folks just see what happens -Kirk and a lady- without paying attention to WHY it's happening or the context in which it occurs. (I'd put up a table of my own as well... how many times does Kirk glance lovingly at Spock and how many times does he glance lovingly at a lady... I have a feeling Spock would win by a BIIIIIG margin. :P )

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kenman   

I've long felt that Kirk's reputation is warped in many ways.  For example, this idea that he was a rogue who'd break the prime directive at a moments notice...there are a couple of episodes where the directive may be broken or just bent...but for the most part Kirk is by the book. It isn't until the movies, and even then not until Star Trek III, that Kirk became this rogue rule breaker who gets away with it because he gets results.  Usually in TOS, Kirk was usually a by the book Captain, believed in Starfleet and their rules and followed them. I think some of his bending of the Prime Directive is actually justified...but that was when the Prime Directive was more of a guideline to protect the Federation from Playing God...and not a HARD rule with no leeway, and allowed for genocide as long as it kept their hands clean. 

Kirk as the renegade is really more a product of the movies than the show in my opinion. 

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Corylea   

Someone made a very detailed table about this a little while ago that shows indeed that Kirk isn't as "active" as most fans seem to think that he is. It's one of those myths that just won't die, mostly because folks just see what happens -Kirk and a lady- without paying attention to WHY it's happening or the context in which it occurs.

 Ah, interesting.  I've been trying to set the record straight in fan fiction circles; I've even had one person tell me that she could finally watch TOS, now that she knew Kirk wasn't what she'd been told he was.  If Kirk's reputation is keeping some people from actually watching Star Trek, then it's a problem!

 

I'd put up a table of my own as well... how many times does Kirk glance lovingly at Spock and how many times does he glance lovingly at a lady... I have a feeling Spock would win by a BIIIIIG margin. :P )

*laugh*  You'd have plenty of company; I've seen oodles of people argue that the person Kirk is actually in love with is Spock.  Have you seen Brittany Diamond's essay where she goes through the first 47 TOS episodes and shows how many times Kirk gazes longingly at Spock or is upset because Spock's in trouble, vs. how many women he fends off or pushes aside?  She gets some things wrong, partly because she's very young, so she doesn't understand the cultural context of the time*, but she's also screamingly funny.

* For example, she says that Kirk and Spock are obviously flirting when Spock comes to Kirk's cabin in "The Enemy Within," because "that's SUCH a common situation in porn movies."  And I had to tell her that in 1966, when "The Enemy Within" was made, there was no Internet, no DVD's, no streaming video.  To watch porn, people had to go to movie theatres -- usually in a sleazy part of town -- and most men saw very little porn, and most women had seen none at all.  So arguing that "everyone in the audience knows that this is a common porn situation" is wrong for this episode, because that WASN'T true when the episode was made.

I've long felt that Kirk's reputation is warped in many ways.  For example, this idea that he was a rogue who'd break the prime directive at a moments notice...there are a couple of episodes where the directive may be broken or just bent...but for the most part Kirk is by the book. It isn't until the movies, and even then not until Star Trek III, that Kirk became this rogue rule breaker who gets away with it because he gets results.  Usually in TOS, Kirk was usually a by the book Captain, believed in Starfleet and their rules and followed them. I think some of his bending of the Prime Directive is actually justified...but that was when the Prime Directive was more of a guideline to protect the Federation from Playing God...and not a HARD rule with no leeway, and allowed for genocide as long as it kept their hands clean. 

Kirk as the renegade is really more a product of the movies than the show in my opinion. 

Absolutely!  And it's important to recognize that the writers and producers didn't even CREATE the Prime Directive until halfway through the first season and didn't really solidify what it meant until Season 2.  So if Kirk seems to break it during the first half of Season 1, it's because the Prime Directive didn't exist yet.

In "Bread and Circuses," Kirk shows himself willing to die -- and willing to allow both Spock and McCoy to be killed, as well -- rather than break the Prime Directive.  And in "The Omega Glory," Kirk is horrified by Captain Tracey's breaking it.

Kirk is good at thinking outside the box and coming up with novel solutions to problems, but that's not the same as being a rule-breaker.

I think of the TV show as "real" TOS, and the movies as pleasant little diversions that have characters with the same names but who aren't the same.  (Except for TVH, where I think they mostly ARE in character, which is why it's my favorite of the TOS movies.

 

Edited by Corylea

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Someone made a very detailed table about this a little while ago that shows indeed that Kirk isn't as "active" as most fans seem to think that he is. It's one of those myths that just won't die, mostly because folks just see what happens -Kirk and a lady- without paying attention to WHY it's happening or the context in which it occurs. (I'd put up a table of my own as well... how many times does Kirk glance lovingly at Spock and how many times does he glance lovingly at a lady... I have a feeling Spock would win by a BIIIIIG margin. :P )

^
On the nose...:giggle:

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 Ah, interesting.  I've been trying to set the record straight in fan fiction circles; I've even had one person tell me that she could finally watch TOS, now that she knew Kirk wasn't what she'd been told he was.  If Kirk's reputation is keeping some people from actually watching Star Trek, then it's a problem!

Yup, it is a problem, in many ways. I'm the same way you are, only with a different captain - I also try to clean up misconceptions about him by pointing out that fandom opinion myths are nothing but myths, and I appear to be somewhat successful, at least sometimes. So I can relate very much to your approach here, and I applaud your thoroughness!

 

 

 *laugh*  You'd have plenty of company; I've seen oodles of people argue that the person Kirk is actually in love with is Spock.  Have you seen Brittany Diamond's essay where she goes through the first 47 TOS episodes and shows how many times Kirk gazes longingly at Spock or is upset because Spock's in trouble, vs. how many women he fends off or pushes aside?  She gets some things wrong, partly because she's very young, so she doesn't understand the cultural context of the time*, but she's also screamingly funny.

* For example, she says that Kirk and Spock are obviously flirting when Spock comes to Kirk's cabin in "The Enemy Within," because "that's SUCH a common situation in porn movies."  And I had to tell her that in 1966, when "The Enemy Within" was made, there was no Internet, no DVD's, no streaming video.  To watch porn, people had to go to movie theatres -- usually in a sleazy part of town -- and most men saw very little porn, and most women had seen none at all.  So arguing that "everyone in the audience knows that this is a common porn situation" is wrong for this episode, because that WASN'T true when the episode was made.

Haha yeah I'd have lots of company! I'll leave the actual details to the real Kirk/Spock shippers though, they're usually experts, I'm more of a casual fan of the pairing, but I do appreciate them and I enjoy looking at them and thinking "aww, you two, just kiss already". 

Thanks for the link! More stuff for me to read. :laugh: Oh yes that famous shirtless scene when Spock walks in on a shirtless Kirk who only has a towel or something around his neck (?) and is like "can I help you, captain" or something and Kirk is like "with what". I mean, LOLWAT. By today's standards this is REALLY an opening scene for a naughty gay movie, it's what makes the moment so hilariously slashy. Back then of course it was probably really meant to be completely innocent, I agree. One always has to look at the context of the time back then. But by today's standards? That scene is 100% and totally gay, lol. It wasn't meant to be, not back then, but I can see why it was included in the "they're flirting" list.

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I've always thought of Kirk as the James Bond of Starfleet! :biggrin:  You are correct in pointing out that many (not all) of his dalliances are goal-oriented to the mission at hand, namely to save his hide and that of the crew.  He has the reputation of being a skirt junkie namely because the vast majority of each episode's action is centered on him, and nearly all episodes feature some prominent female he must deal with in one way or another.  There are probably plenty of other Enterprise crewmen getting their gears greased each night besides their fearless leader. :giggle:

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I've always thought of Kirk as the James Bond of Starfleet! :biggrin:  You are correct in pointing out that many (not all) of his dalliances are goal-oriented to the mission at hand, namely to save his hide and that of the crew.  He has the reputation of being a skirt junkie namely because the vast majority of each episode's action is centered on him, and nearly all episodes feature some prominent female he must deal with in one way or another.  There are probably plenty of other Enterprise crewmen getting their gears greased each night besides their fearless leader. :giggle:

^
That was one of the little touches I liked about ST Beyond; during the captain's log, when Kirk remarked about the crew having various interpersonal relationships, some successful and some not (Chekov getting kicked out of the Orion girl's quarters... cute scene).   I got a real sense of the Enterprise crew as a community in space; or perhaps more akin to a coed university.   

 

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I've always thought of Kirk as the James Bond of Starfleet! :biggrin:  You are correct in pointing out that many (not all) of his dalliances are goal-oriented to the mission at hand, namely to save his hide and that of the crew.  He has the reputation of being a skirt junkie namely because the vast majority of each episode's action is centered on him, and nearly all episodes feature some prominent female he must deal with in one way or another.  There are probably plenty of other Enterprise crewmen getting their gears greased each night besides their fearless leader. :giggle:

^
That was one of the little touches I liked about ST Beyond; during the captain's log, when Kirk remarked about the crew having various interpersonal relationships, some successful and some not (Chekov getting kicked out of the Orion girl's quarters... cute scene).   I got a real sense of the Enterprise crew as a community in space; or perhaps more akin to a coed university.   

 

That was Chekov getting chucked out? Will have to pay attention to that scene next time!  

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I've always thought of Kirk as the James Bond of Starfleet! :biggrin:  You are correct in pointing out that many (not all) of his dalliances are goal-oriented to the mission at hand, namely to save his hide and that of the crew.  He has the reputation of being a skirt junkie namely because the vast majority of each episode's action is centered on him, and nearly all episodes feature some prominent female he must deal with in one way or another.  There are probably plenty of other Enterprise crewmen getting their gears greased each night besides their fearless leader. :giggle:

^
That was one of the little touches I liked about ST Beyond; during the captain's log, when Kirk remarked about the crew having various interpersonal relationships, some successful and some not (Chekov getting kicked out of the Orion girl's quarters... cute scene).   I got a real sense of the Enterprise crew as a community in space; or perhaps more akin to a coed university.   

 

That was Chekov getting chucked out? Will have to pay attention to that scene next time!  

Yep.  The shirtless guy was Chekov.    

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kenman   

There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

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There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

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kenman   

There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

And it helped in giving a bit of visual storytelling for Kirk.  Chekov is hitting on someone and Kirk gives this look of "oh I remember when I was like that..." with a sense of humor. It is a quick moment but it visually looked like a more mature character from that brief moment.  He then immediately looks off to Sulu and his family and his this other look, which I know some read as "oh...Sulu is GAY?" but I immediately read it as "ahh...but I don't have that...a family."  Those were always two sides of Kirk's personal life to me. He kissed the ladies, sure...but he sort of had this subtle undertone of wanting something a bit more. This all encompassed maybe 30 seconds or less in Beyond, but it really made me feel like he was far closer to the original Kirk in that moment...not the characterization that he is constantly looking at the ladies and acting like a total rebel who doesn't care about the rules. 

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There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

And it helped in giving a bit of visual storytelling for Kirk.  Chekov is hitting on someone and Kirk gives this look of "oh I remember when I was like that..." with a sense of humor. It is a quick moment but it visually looked like a more mature character from that brief moment.  He then immediately looks off to Sulu and his family and his this other look, which I know some read as "oh...Sulu is GAY?" but I immediately read it as "ahh...but I don't have that...a family."  Those were always two sides of Kirk's personal life to me. He kissed the ladies, sure...but he sort of had this subtle undertone of wanting something a bit more. This all encompassed maybe 30 seconds or less in Beyond, but it really made me feel like he was far closer to the original Kirk in that moment...not the characterization that he is constantly looking at the ladies and acting like a total rebel who doesn't care about the rules. 

^
Yeah, Kirk looking upon Sulu's husband and daughter was more of a wistful, "Wish I could have a family like that" look.  Sulu's being gay would be utterly inconsequential to anyone in such an enlightened era (as it should be in ours).   We know that Kirk the skirt chaser secretly yearned for such domestic bliss now and then; in TWOK, he laments to Carol about "My life that could've been...and wasn't."  In STV, he tells Bones that 'Other men (have families), not us" with more than a hint of regret. 

I liked that glance to Sulu's family because it was very much in keeping with the mature Kirk we see later on, and seemed to be the final nail in the cofffin of the more obnoxious 'frat boy Kirk' of the previous two movies.  It was OK in ST09, because it was an origins story; but it seemed terribly out of place to a man trusted with command of the Federation flagship.   A Kirk like that would be a magnet for scandal, and a lousy representative for the 'evolved' humanity of the Federation.  Kirk IS supposed to be a diplomat/ambassador as well as a military commander. 

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kenman   

There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

And it helped in giving a bit of visual storytelling for Kirk.  Chekov is hitting on someone and Kirk gives this look of "oh I remember when I was like that..." with a sense of humor. It is a quick moment but it visually looked like a more mature character from that brief moment.  He then immediately looks off to Sulu and his family and his this other look, which I know some read as "oh...Sulu is GAY?" but I immediately read it as "ahh...but I don't have that...a family."  Those were always two sides of Kirk's personal life to me. He kissed the ladies, sure...but he sort of had this subtle undertone of wanting something a bit more. This all encompassed maybe 30 seconds or less in Beyond, but it really made me feel like he was far closer to the original Kirk in that moment...not the characterization that he is constantly looking at the ladies and acting like a total rebel who doesn't care about the rules. 

^
Yeah, Kirk looking upon Sulu's husband and daughter was more of a wistful, "Wish I could have a family like that" look.  Sulu's being gay would be utterly inconsequential to anyone in such an enlightened era (as it should be in ours).   We know that Kirk the skirt chaser secretly yearned for such domestic bliss now and then; in TWOK, he laments to Carol about "My life that could've been...and wasn't."  In STV, he tells Bones that 'Other men (have families), not us" with more than a hint of regret. 

I liked that glance to Sulu's family because it was very much in keeping with the mature Kirk we see later on, and seemed to be the final nail in the cofffin of the more obnoxious 'frat boy Kirk' of the previous two movies.  It was OK in ST09, because it was an origins story; but it seemed terribly out of place to a man trusted with command of the Federation flagship.   A Kirk like that would be a magnet for scandal, and a lousy representative for the 'evolved' humanity of the Federation.  Kirk IS supposed to be a diplomat/ambassador as well as a military commander. 

Every action and behavior of Kirk of Into Darkness just made me question Starfleet's whole system. 

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There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

And it helped in giving a bit of visual storytelling for Kirk.  Chekov is hitting on someone and Kirk gives this look of "oh I remember when I was like that..." with a sense of humor. It is a quick moment but it visually looked like a more mature character from that brief moment.  He then immediately looks off to Sulu and his family and his this other look, which I know some read as "oh...Sulu is GAY?" but I immediately read it as "ahh...but I don't have that...a family."  Those were always two sides of Kirk's personal life to me. He kissed the ladies, sure...but he sort of had this subtle undertone of wanting something a bit more. This all encompassed maybe 30 seconds or less in Beyond, but it really made me feel like he was far closer to the original Kirk in that moment...not the characterization that he is constantly looking at the ladies and acting like a total rebel who doesn't care about the rules. 

^
Yeah, Kirk looking upon Sulu's husband and daughter was more of a wistful, "Wish I could have a family like that" look.  Sulu's being gay would be utterly inconsequential to anyone in such an enlightened era (as it should be in ours).   We know that Kirk the skirt chaser secretly yearned for such domestic bliss now and then; in TWOK, he laments to Carol about "My life that could've been...and wasn't."  In STV, he tells Bones that 'Other men (have families), not us" with more than a hint of regret. 

I liked that glance to Sulu's family because it was very much in keeping with the mature Kirk we see later on, and seemed to be the final nail in the cofffin of the more obnoxious 'frat boy Kirk' of the previous two movies.  It was OK in ST09, because it was an origins story; but it seemed terribly out of place to a man trusted with command of the Federation flagship.   A Kirk like that would be a magnet for scandal, and a lousy representative for the 'evolved' humanity of the Federation.  Kirk IS supposed to be a diplomat/ambassador as well as a military commander. 

Every action and behavior of Kirk of Into Darkness just made me question Starfleet's whole system. 

Yeah, that's another reason I prefer to sort of mentally jump from ST09 to STB; it actually works better that way.   You can just assume that the ending of ST09 was the beginning of the five year mission and ignore STID altogether.    As head canon?  It really works. 

STB also better illustrates how Kirk, over the course of the last three or so years in deep space, immediately rose to the challenge of his newfound responsibility at the end of ST09.   When you see it that way, STID just doesn't fit anymore.   Going straight from ST09 to STB actually makes Kirk seem heroic, and much less of a jackass. 

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kenman   

There are a lot of little hidden moments which paint Chekov as a horndog...I enjoyed that they switched that trait over to him, and Kirk seemed more mature this time around. 

Frat boy Captain Kirk was a tired gag by STID; it would've been way over-th-top in STB.  

And Chekov was already a bit of a ladies' man even in TOS (Irina Gallilulin in "Way to Eden" Yeoman Landers in "The Apple" Sylvia in "Spectre of the Gun", his "perhaps if I assisted" line in "Who Mourns for Adonais?").   And the 'evil' influenced Chekov in "Day of the Dove" even sexually assaulted Kang's wife in "Day of the Dove." 

So making him a skirt chaser in STB was actually getting back to the roots of the character. 

And it helped in giving a bit of visual storytelling for Kirk.  Chekov is hitting on someone and Kirk gives this look of "oh I remember when I was like that..." with a sense of humor. It is a quick moment but it visually looked like a more mature character from that brief moment.  He then immediately looks off to Sulu and his family and his this other look, which I know some read as "oh...Sulu is GAY?" but I immediately read it as "ahh...but I don't have that...a family."  Those were always two sides of Kirk's personal life to me. He kissed the ladies, sure...but he sort of had this subtle undertone of wanting something a bit more. This all encompassed maybe 30 seconds or less in Beyond, but it really made me feel like he was far closer to the original Kirk in that moment...not the characterization that he is constantly looking at the ladies and acting like a total rebel who doesn't care about the rules. 

^
Yeah, Kirk looking upon Sulu's husband and daughter was more of a wistful, "Wish I could have a family like that" look.  Sulu's being gay would be utterly inconsequential to anyone in such an enlightened era (as it should be in ours).   We know that Kirk the skirt chaser secretly yearned for such domestic bliss now and then; in TWOK, he laments to Carol about "My life that could've been...and wasn't."  In STV, he tells Bones that 'Other men (have families), not us" with more than a hint of regret. 

I liked that glance to Sulu's family because it was very much in keeping with the mature Kirk we see later on, and seemed to be the final nail in the cofffin of the more obnoxious 'frat boy Kirk' of the previous two movies.  It was OK in ST09, because it was an origins story; but it seemed terribly out of place to a man trusted with command of the Federation flagship.   A Kirk like that would be a magnet for scandal, and a lousy representative for the 'evolved' humanity of the Federation.  Kirk IS supposed to be a diplomat/ambassador as well as a military commander. 

Every action and behavior of Kirk of Into Darkness just made me question Starfleet's whole system. 

Yeah, that's another reason I prefer to sort of mentally jump from ST09 to STB; it actually works better that way.   You can just assume that the ending of ST09 was the beginning of the five year mission and ignore STID altogether.    As head canon?  It really works. 

STB also better illustrates how Kirk, over the course of the last three or so years in deep space, immediately rose to the challenge of his newfound responsibility at the end of ST09.   When you see it that way, STID just doesn't fit anymore.   Going straight from ST09 to STB actually makes Kirk seem heroic, and much less of a jackass. 

On my shelf that is exactly how it looks, as if Into Darkness never happened.  I see no reason to own it at this point.  Maybe if they make like 4 more good movies and they come out with a nice set that happens to include STID...maybe it will be bought, but for now, I will stick with what I have.

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